Security along India-Bangladesh border has been tightened further, as political turmoil hits Bangladesh ahead of the January 5 polls.
The paramilitary, Border Security Force (BSF) has been put on high alert in the Lankamura area of Tripura state and it has been ordered to remain vigilant to foil any infiltration attempt by militants.
Recently, fresh violence erupted in Bangladesh ahead of the general election, as the opposition, led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), says it will not take part in the vote unless an interim government oversees it and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina steps down.
The opposition's boycott means more than half of 300 parliament seats will go uncontested, undermining the legitimacy of the election and making it highly unlikely it will do anything to restore stability in one of the world's poorest countries. “Since there is election in Bangladesh, so the security along the border is very tight. Border Security Force (BSF) is on alert so that militants cannot infiltrate. Hence, security has been increased,” said Sabita Sarkar, a villager in the border area.
India has also decided to keep its border sealed for three days from January 4. “The Border Security Force personnel are performing their duty as there are election11s in Bangladesh on January 5. The soldiers are on alert,” said Sanjay Chakraborty, another villager in the border area.
Violence has gripped the country as Hasina and her ruling Awami League press ahead with vote. More than 200 people have been killed in political violence this year, half of them since November 25 when the Election Commission announced the date for the vote.
Rolling strikes staged by the opposition and blockades of roads, rail lines and waterways are also hurting the USD 22 billion garment export industry, which has already been under a cloud because of a string of fatal incidents. Hasina and Khaleda, both related to former national leaders, have dominated politics in Bangladesh for more than two decades. The antagonism between them has frustrated attempts at reconciliation.